Why Can’t RSS Readers Do This?

07/01/2014

I use an RSS reader – currently ReadKit on my Mac – to follow the news. While I depend on it less and less, getting more news from Twitter feeds, it still covers some areas that I don’t want in my Twitter client.

I also use Flipboard on iOS, which, while not an RSS reader, is an aggregator, making it easy to “flip” through the news.

One problem with both of these types of tools is that they show the same news story a dozen times, if not more. Why can’t RSS readers – and news aggregators – offer a feature where I’d choose to not see any more news about a specific story, at least for a limited time.

For example, Apple announced changed to its iTunes U service yesterday. I’m interested in iTunes, since I write a great deal about it, but after I read one story, I knew what I needed, and I didn’t want to see any more. Yet both in Flipboard and in ReadKit, I had to scan through a number of stories about the same thing.

A killer feature for an RSS reader would be a “mark as read and don’t show me any more stories about the same topic” option. You’d probably want it to be temporary; say for a few hours, or until the next update, since news stories do evolve. But it’s annoying to have to see the same story reported by so many different outlets. When it’s pure news – a product announcement, sports results, corporate earnings – you don’t often need multiple interpretations.